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Torriano Primary teacher’s sons leave Kentish Town for Islamic State in Syria

PUBLISHED: 10:04 24 November 2015 | UPDATED: 10:06 24 November 2015

Khayerul Miah, pictured, and his brother have joined IS in Syria

Khayerul Miah, pictured, and his brother have joined IS in Syria

Archant

Two sons of a nursery teacher at a Kentish Town primary school have fled the UK to join the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

Thahirul Miah, 23, and Khayerul, 21, left their Kentish Town home earlier this year to fight for the terrorist network.

Their mother Rana Begum – a teacher at Torriano Primary School – is said to “completely renounce their activity” in what has been described as a “personal tragedy” for the family in a statement released by the school today.

Police have told Ms Begum that one of her sons is feared dead, according to The Sun newspaper, who first reported the news this morning.

The family home is reported to have been searched, and computers taken away.

Chair of governors said the teacher poses “no threat” to pupils in the school and that police working with anti-radicalisation Prevent Camden Council officers found no evidence that she had radicalised her children.

The full statement from chair of governors Luca Salice reads: “The mother of the two young men is a valued member of staff at Torriano Primary School and she completely renounces their activity.

“The school immediately followed the agreed procedures for safeguarding children by contacting both the Metropolitan Police and the council’s ‘Prevent’ officers, who are responsible for responding to threats of radicalisation.”

He continued: “The police and Prevent team investigations concluded there was no indication the two young men had been radicalised by their mother and no further action should be taken as she poses no threat to pupils in the school.

“At Torriano Primary School we take our duties under the Prevent Strategy very seriously - we report suspicious activity to the police and have a strong safeguarding practice to counter both sexual exploitation and radicalisation.

“Torriano is proud of its record in fostering community cohesion within its diverse community.

“This was a personal tragedy for this member of staff and her family.

“We call upon the media to respect her grief and to remain mindful of the feelings of staff and the impact on pupils and parents.”

The school, in Torriano Avenue, is holding meetings today and tomorrow for parents who may have questions. They will be held at 3.45pm and 6pm today in The Gatehouse building, and tomorrow at 9am in the Infant Building Hall.

It has also issued a letter to parents signed by executive headteacher Bavaani Nanthabalan and head of school Helen Bruckdorfer, which is published on its website.

The letter reiterates that the school consistently follows the National Prevent Strategy to stop radicalisation.

The school adds that it was “very disappointed” in The Sun’s reporting of the issue.

The letter said: “We are very disappointed that this matter had been shared in a public forum, with no regard to the impact it may have on our children, staff, and the Torriano community.

“We take our duty of care to children very seriously.”


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